The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Boys’ swim undefeated, repeat league champions

Senior+captain+Axel+Soderquist+gets+ready+to+dive+off+a+diving+block%3B+the+boys+team+won+their+meet+on+Jan.+8%2C+2024.
Submitted Axel Soderquist
Senior captain Axel Soderquist gets ready to dive off a diving block; the boys’ team won their meet on Jan. 8, 2024.

Boys’ swim completed yet another dual meet season undefeated, with an overall record of 11-0 and a Midland Wachusett League record of 7-0.

Led by senior co-captains Branden Yan and Axel Soderquist, Algonquin also placed first out of 12 teams at the Midland Wachusett League Invitational Swim and Dive Championship Meet. Paired with their undefeated season and league record, the team was the 2023-2024 Midland Wachusett League Champion. 

“Overall I think the season went very well; everyone put in a lot of work and there were a lot of personal records,” Yan said. “Many people went to States as well this year, and at the end, we had a really good relay comeback to qualify for States for the boys’ team.”

Soderquist competed in the 50 & 100 Freestyle events at the Division I State Championship Meet on Feb. 18, along with his teammates Yan, senior Satoshi Conway and sophomore Simon Linden in the 400 Free Relay. Soderquist placed 16th in the 50 Freestyle and 13th in the 100 Freestyle, and the 400 Free Relay team placed 20th.

“States is always a very different event from League for us; because it was so hard to qualify for D1 States and so few boys made it, our entire league became the size of one small team, and our spirit was less competitive and more cordial,” Soderquist said. “The team’s biggest rivals in the league, Westborough and Shrewsbury, became our allies.”

According to Yan, the highlight of the season was winning the league’s championship meet, edging out Tantasqua with a score of 380-315.

“The atmosphere was stressful yet the team was really hype, and everyone was excited when we won the meet, especially when they were announcing the other team’s scores and then we heard our winning score,” Yan said.

Yan won the 200 Individual Medley, and the 200 Free Relay team of junior Erion Zaimi, freshman Maxwell Qi, senior Eric Tam and sophomore Simon Linden also placed first. Despite only winning two events out of 12, the Titans were still able to secure the league championship.

Senior Sidney Werlin swims backstroke during a meet against Westborough. (Submitted Axel Soderquist)

“It was our depth that catapulted us to the win,” head coach Jean Fedak said. “The coaching staff emphasized all season long that every swim mattered, and that every swimmer had to do his job of swimming up to his potential to support our top swimmers.”

While Fedak agrees the championship meet was definitely a highlight, she believes the team’s “commanding” 97-65 win over their friendly rival Westborough was even more memorable.

“We share the pool with Westborough during every practice, so the kids on both teams become friends, but they are spirited opponents when competing against one another,” Fedak said. “Plus, the team loves it because they finally get to throw the coaches into the pool.”

Many athletes contributed to the team’s success this season. 

“Some key swimmers this season for the boys team were Axel; he swam really fast,” Yan said. “In a lot of the relays he can carry the relay because he’s just so fast. Another person who was pretty key was junior Erion Zaimi; he was able to swim very fast in several events like the 200 freestyle relay.”

Fedak also credits the team’s strong captains as an important factor.

“Axel has had a tremendous impact on the team as a leader at meets with 15 wins and five second places at dual meets,” Fedak said. “His amazing work ethic during practice is inspirational. Branden has set the tone of excellence since he joined the team as a freshman, and this year was no different, finishing this season with a first place win in the 200 Individual Medley at the league meet and a personal dual meet events record of 17 wins, two second places and one third place.”

Fedak is proud of the team’s grit, positive team dynamic and impressive season.

“Our strength lies in our depth, our consistency in supporting our lead swimmers, great senior leadership, captains who care about teammates and Titan grit,” Fedak said. “The captains embraced that approach to leading their team to victory. They have been tremendous role models and worked hard to create an inclusive, family-like atmosphere where every teammate felt valued.”

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About the Contributor
Riya Mahanta
Riya Mahanta, Editor in Chief
Riya began writing for The Harbinger as a News Editor her freshman year after taking Journalism. Ever since she saw her sister's copy of The Harbinger in 8th grade, she knew she wanted to write for the newspaper. Riya is currently an Editor in Chief although she still enjoys writing pieces in Arts and Entertainment and News. Outside of Harbinger, she writes for three other news outlets. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, specifically Ariana Grande and Drake, play tennis and paint.
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    Branden Yan #1 FanMar 6, 2024 at 11:26 am

    I really love Branden Yan’s quotes. I think they are perfectly verbatim and you did a very good job of capturing exactly what he said. Especially where he said “he swam really fast”, and “he’s just so fast”, and “he was able to swim very fast”.

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